Businesswoman Suzanne Kelly’s warm demeanour masks a very real anger at a Government she feels has done its dash.
A sensible mum of three with “Pakuranga in my blood”, she makes no bones about her distaste with the ruling National Party’s legacy which is now seriously impacting housing, immigration and health.
“I got into politics to truly make a difference. I have had enough of the growing inequality and know we cannot have another term of a government only concerned about big business and overseas investors,” she said.
“The stories I am hearing (are) about the huge hospital waiting lists and chronic shortage of doctors and specialists.
“This is what happens when your government lacks compassion for their people and puts money and big business first. I am here for all New Zealanders. We have had enough. Enough is enough.”
From Half Moon Bay, Kelly believes NZ First “is the only party with backbone”.
Fighting words, fuelled with emotion roused by the knowledge it is impacting her three teenage kids.
Don’t mention housing (unaffordable housing, she corrects me).
“Pakuranga and nearby suburbs are now been forced to accept high numbers of infill housing in the near future, with families expected to live on postage stamp sections and told this is the new norm,” said Kelly.
“AMETI (Auckland Manukau Eastern Transport Initiative – a group of projects that will give residents of South Eastern suburbs improved transport choices) – is all good, but is still years from being completed and with the increase in infill housing, this will not be enough.
“Aucklanders are suffering because the population is growing too fast. How can this government live with themselves, locking future generations out of the market and them becoming renters for life?”
Uncontrolled immigration and 250,000 temporary work visas issued each year was seriously impacting the lives of average Kiwis, she maintained. .
“New Zealanders have had enough of gridlocked transport, long hospital waiting lists, unaffordable housing, lack of funding for mental health and the highest youth suicide rate in the OECD. We’ve had enough.”
She said she has compassion “for our people”, has run multiple companies and believes she can offer new ideas and strategies.
“I have lived here most of my life, brought up my family here and believe I am the best candidate for the job,” she said.
“I promise 100 per cent commitment to the people of Pakuranga by working hard for the electorate and making a difference in my community.”